Feeling like weaning...

How, when and why to introduce foods other than breastmilk

Feeling like weaning...

Postby Beck_and_bubs » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:53 pm

DS is just over 2. He still feeds several times during the day and night. I am really over it atm. Today he had a massive screaming tantrum because I refused to give him "num nums" for the second time in an hour. He will only feed to sleep when we are home together. His dad can put him to bed at night but I go in for every night waking. I end up spending half the night in his bed.

Usually all of this is OK. Well tolerable but not ideal. But it has just ramped up to a whole new level. I feel like BF is the main cause of his poor sleep at night and also tanties during the day. If I night weaned him would that help matters or make things worse?

Just feel like I am at the end of my tether.
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Jenbt85 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:07 pm

Big hugs Beck.

I'm saying this from a kind place not a judgemental one. My DS was a horrific sleeper and, in hindsight, was always exhausted. This fed into meltdowns during the day. Could it be that in feeding to sleep, your son is actually trying to put himself to sleep during the day and when you say no, it's too much for him because he's tired?

Again, I really want to clarify that I'm absolutely not judging about feeding to sleep cos we all do what works and feeding to sleep is natural and normal (I'm sad that it stopped working with my DS). I'm just wondering if breastfeeding became about food and comfort again if that would help you feel better about continuing (if that's what you chose to do)?

Is your partner happy to help with night weaning if that's what you choose to do?

Also, in saying all this, toddlers are also just happy to lose the plot over nothing!
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Beck_and_bubs » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:21 pm

I think it's a bit of both, comfort and food. And tantrums happen for other reasons of course. I think he gets enough sleep over the course of the evening but as soon as he gets tired, bored, feels insecure, wants to watch TV, needs a drink, hurts himself, then it's all about num nums. If I can't sit with him it can turn into the screaming session we had this morning. Usually I don't mind, and I would rather BF over being subjected to a tantrum any day. But I am just feeling like this will never end. I will never get a decent nights sleep!

I have discussed night weaning with DH. He is happy to help but will need to wear ear plugs! His hearing had suffered over the years and having DS screaming for an hour would affect it even more. So that's another reason I keep DS quiet with a boob overnight. That and not wanting to wake the whole house/neighborhood. :shock:
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:13 pm

Hugs, I understand! Check out my latest post on night weaning in the General Issues section, last night was the first night and it went better than I expected. I made a lot of effort to prepare DD in the week leading up to it so there were no surprises.

It sounds like night weaning might be a good start for you, hopefully it will mean that you both get a better nights sleep and thus able to cope better during the day.
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Jenbt85 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:13 pm

Yep, that's one of the reasons we struggled on for so long. We wanted to keep the house quiet at night / did whatever would get us back to sleep the quickest. For us, it ended up not being sustainable.

What do you want your ideal situation to look like? Sometimes it's helpful to have your goal in mind so you can reverse engineer the steps to get there. Consider what progress would look like too.

We went from being up hourly / two hourly to sleeping through after ten days. Lately, we are up once a night briefly and up at 5:00am but I'm ok with that. I weaned my son at 18.5 months because my supply was barely there anymore. I miss breastfeeding and I'm not sure that it was the feeding that was the problem so much as the boundaries I was putting in. That and it takes energy to change anything!
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Ronale » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:25 pm

I hear you. I decided I couldn't handle it after 18 months and started reducing the number of feeds per day, and then night time feeds as well. I just had times where I wouldn't feed. For example, I decided that he could have a feed at 6am when we woke, but then not again until after 9am. I felt that wasn't unreasonable given he was 18 months. I did have to offer loads of foods as distraction, and there were a few meltdowns, but eventually we got to a place where I don't feed between 6am and 9am. I did the same at night. So no feeds between 6 and 10, then after midnight, then after 5am. I tend to cave after about 3-4am now, but as there's less earlier in the night it doesn't feel so bad. This might be a good place to start, and then take the next step when you feel like it.
It sounds scary, but I felt if I could get below 6 feeds in 24 hours I would be ok. Do you have a number that you feel you could cope with?
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Beck_and_bubs » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:10 pm

My ideal situation would be sleeping 7pm to 6am with no BF in between. Maybe feeding before bedtime and maybe in the morning. I am tired of DS refusing breakfast though because he has a tummy full of milk! Some days I feel like he survives only on milk and hardly any food.

But the ideal would be to improve sleep!
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:10 pm

If it's any help, we weaned DS off a nighttime bottle just after the age of 2. He would wake once or twice asking for it, and we didn't remove it sooner because we didn't want to make drastic changes around the time DD was born. We told him what was going to happen for a few days leading up to it, and said if he was thirsty he could have water and if he was hungry he could have a snack, and lots of cuddles. He had a little cry but got used to it very quickly. No tears on the 2nd night.

If you give enough warning you may be surprised as how quickly your DS adapts. At that age I think they can understand when you tell them how tired it's making you. You could even make up a little story about night weaning, that's how I got DS (then 19-20 months) to understand what was going to happen when DD was born - I printed it out and we illustrated it with pics from a magazine and read it every day.
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Jenbt85 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:51 pm

Beck_and_bubs wrote:My ideal situation would be sleeping 7pm to 6am with no BF in between. Maybe feeding before bedtime and maybe in the morning. I am tired of DS refusing breakfast though because he has a tummy full of milk! Some days I feel like he survives only on milk and hardly any food.

But the ideal would be to improve sleep!


Advice that I received on timing milk was to give an hour after their morning feed before offering breakfast so that they have time to digest. Alternatively, I saw someone on here (SnakeHipsMcroy perhaps?) who offered breakfast first and found that in doing so, their little one slept longer in the morning and wasn't waking for milk per se.

A couple of things we also changed that we would never have thought of were to make DS warmer at night. Previously, we had him in a two piece set of PJs and a toddler duvet. We went back to using a onesie (with a short sleeved / short legged onesie underneath), a sleeping bag and an extra couple of blankets. We now turn the heating off at night so the temperature is more 'even' instead of the rise and fall in temperatures that you get with ducted heating. We found that he wasn't waking as much fairly soon after that. We offered water during the night if needed (and do that now). We also used controlled crying - which isn't easy and isn't everyone's choice, but it helped us when we felt we had nowhere else to go and had tried everything. It took ten days and then he started sleeping through (for a month) and now is going through a period of waking once a night but I suspect that he might be teething and am ok with getting up once a night.

There are a few gentle methods for night weaning - Jay Gordon is the one that was recommended to us :)
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Beck_and_bubs » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:03 pm

Our morning feeds begin at 4am and finish when I've had enough, normally 6am. We have started the day at 4am several times before but I don't want to make a habit of that. The earliest was 3:30am. Eeek.

So delaying the morning feed until after breakfast isn't going to happen until he sleeps longer and deeper.

I have just been putting off the night weaning process for fear of greater sleep deprivation and burst ear drums from the screeching. :x
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Jenbt85 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:33 pm

Beck_and_bubs wrote:Our morning feeds begin at 4am and finish when I've had enough, normally 6am. We have started the day at 4am several times before but I don't want to make a habit of that. The earliest was 3:30am. Eeek.

So delaying the morning feed until after breakfast isn't going to happen until he sleeps longer and deeper.

I have just been putting off the night weaning process for fear of greater sleep deprivation and burst ear drums from the screeching. :x


Best of luck Beck, let us know how you go.
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Re: Feeling like weaning...

Postby Ronale » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:22 pm

Beck_and_bubs wrote:Our morning feeds begin at 4am and finish when I've had enough, normally 6am. We have started the day at 4am several times before but I don't want to make a habit of that. The earliest was 3:30am. Eeek.

So delaying the morning feed until after breakfast isn't going to happen until he sleeps longer and deeper.

I have just been putting off the night weaning process for fear of greater sleep deprivation and burst ear drums from the screeching. :x


I have this issue with DS2 also. He comes into our bed (goes to sleep in his cot in a different room) and wants a feed around 1am, I can put him off this feed at present, although I need to ensure I have water beside the bed to offer, but the 4am one he does need. So, the compromise is each side then he goes back to sleep. Which works some mornings and not others. The mornings it doesn't work DH gets up with DS2 at 6am, and I get a 30 minute sleep in until he needs to leave for work, and if he isn't working he wrangles DS2 from 5 until 6 when I get up with him. It's not a fun period, but as he does go back to sleep some mornings, we are reluctant to allow him to get up on other mornings (everyone has their issues :roll: ) It didn't just happen one night, we've worked to get to this point (we've had screaming fits, and discussions about when feeds are ok, and the availability of water), and we know from our experience with DS1 that at some point in the next 6 months he will sleep consistently until 6am or later.
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